Seamus Coleman set to miss Republic of Ireland's play-off says Mick McCarthy

Seamus Coleman has earned 56 Republic of Ireland caps
Coleman was injured in the first half of Everton's draw with Manchester United on Sunday

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy says Seamus Coleman is likely to miss the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Slovakia.

Coleman was forced off by a quad muscle injury in Everton's game against Manchester United on Sunday.

"Seamus is struggling for the games. I'm told it could be four to six weeks," McCarthy told RTE Sport.

The Irish face Slovakia in Bratislava on 26 March before a possible play-off final five days later.

Victory in Bratislava will see the Republic facing either Northern Ireland or Slovakia away for a place at Euro 2020.

Stoke winger James McClean is recovering from a medial ligament injury while Ciaran Clark is definitely out of the 26 March game in Bratislava because of an ankle problem.

Matt Doherty is about to take a throw-in as Mick McCarthy shouts instructions during the Republic's 1-1 draw with Denmark in November
Matt Doherty is an obvious right-back option for Mick McCarthy if Seamus Coleman is ruled out

Doherty in line to replace Coleman

If Coleman is ruled out, in-form Wolves defender Matt Doherty is likely to start at right-back with Fulham's Cyrus Christie also providing cover for the full-back role.

McCarthy watched Christie help Fulham beat Preston on Saturday after he came on as an early substitute.

The Republic boss took in the game primarily to survey the form of Preston duo Sean Maguire and Alan Browne but came away impressed by Christie's performance.

"Cyrus was the happier of the three of them by the final whistle," said McCarthy.

"He was a ninth-minute substitute for Fulham and he came on and played really well for the rest of the game in what was a very big win for Fulham."

McCarthy impressed by Hoops' Byrne

The previous evening McCarthy watched Shamrock Rovers midfielder Jack Byrne star in his team's 3-2 win over League of Ireland champions Dundalk.

Byrne hit Rovers' late match-winner although McCarthy had already left the ground by that stage.

"I did see Jack's goal - on my phone in the car! And yes, it was a great goal," said McCarthy.

"He certainly gave me plenty to think about with that performance and I loved everything about the game.

"The atmosphere was electric, the record crowd had a real buzz about them and it was a great advert for the League."

Victory in Bratislava will see the Republic facing either Northern Ireland or Slovakia away five days later for a place at Euro 2020.

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